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The UK government announced in today's briefing that testing for coronavirus is to begin 'immediately' for hundreds of front line workers.
Michael Gove headed the daily conference following the Prime Minister's contraction of Covid-19.
Addressing the measures that will be put in place for front line workers, Mr Gove said: "These tests will be trialled for people on the front line starting immediately, with hundreds to take place by the end of the weekend, dramatically scaling up next week."
The 52-year-old went on: "Protecting our front line workers is at the forefront of everyone's minds at the moment.
"Last night millions of people paid a fantastic tribute to the heroes and heroines of the NHS when they stepped outside their front doors and clapped."
Mr Gove also noted that the current figures on the number of coronavirus cases indicated that the infection has been doubling every few days.
He explained: "The best scientific analysis now is that the rate of infection has been doubling every three to four days.
"These figures are a powerful reminder of the need for all of us to act, we need to slow the spread of the virus and strengthen the NHS's ability to protect us all."
Outlining the other measures that the government will be implementing, Mr Gove said: "Strict social distancing measures have been put in place to restrict the spread of Covid-19 so fewer people should need hospital treatment at any one time.
"As well as acting to slow the spread of the virus, we're also acting to strengthen the NHS. We're expanding the number of beds available for new patients, we're increasing the number of staff in our hospitals and we're also investing in life-saving equipment for those with severe symptoms to give people the care they need when they need it the most."
UPDATE on coronavirus (#COVID19) testing in the UK:- Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) March 27, 2020
As of 9am 27 March, a total of 113,777 have been tested:
As of 5pm on 26 March, of those hospitalised in the UK, 759 have sadly died. pic.twitter.com/MBuOB994N4
As of 9am this morning (27 March) the number of people tested was at 113,777, with 99,198 of those testing negative. The other 14,579 results came back positive.
The latest figures show that the UK death toll has reached 759 - an increase of 181.